Duy Nguyen <pclo...@gmail.com> writes: > On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM, Michael Haggerty <mhag...@alum.mit.edu> wrote: >> Hiderefs creates a "dark" corner of a remote git repo that can hold >> arbitrary content that is impossible for anybody to discover but >> nevertheless possible for anybody to download (if they know the name of >> a hidden reference). In earlier versions of the patch series I believe >> that it was possible to push to a hidden reference hierarchy, which made >> it possible to upload dark content. The new version appears (from the >> code) to prohibit adding references in a hidden hierarchy, which would >> close the main loophole that I was worried about. But the documentation >> and the unit tests only explicitly say that updates and deletes are >> prohibited; nothing is said about adding references (unless "update" is >> understood to include "add"). I think the true behavior should be >> clarified and tested. >> >> I was worried that somehow this "dark" content could be used for >> malicious purposes; for example, pushing compromised code then >> convincing somebody to download it by SHA1 with the implicit argument >> "it's safe since it comes directly from the project's official >> repository". If it is indeed impossible to populate the dark namespace >> remotely then I can't think of a way to exploit it. > > Or you can think hiderefs is the first step to addressing the > initial ref advertisment problem. The series says hidden refs are > to be fetched out of band, but that's not the only way.
Let me help unconfuse this thread. I think the series as 8-patch series was poorly presented, and separating it into two will help understanding what they are about. The first three: upload-pack: share more code upload-pack: simplify request validation upload/receive-pack: allow hiding ref hierarchies is _the_ topic of the series. As far as I am concerned (I am not speaking for Gerrit users, but am speaking as the Git maintainer), the topic is solely about uncluttering. There may be refs that the server end may need to keep for its operation, but that remote users have _no_ business knowing about. Allowing the server to keep these refs in the repository, while not showing these refs over the wire, is the problem the series solves. In other words, it is not about "these are *usually* not wanted by clients, so do not show them by default". It is about "these are not to be shown, ever". OK? Now, there may be some refs that are not *usually* wanted by clients but there may be cases where clients want to (1) learn about them via the same protocol; and/or (2) fetch them over the protocol. If you want to solve both of these two issues generally, the solution has to involve a separate protocol from the today's protocol. It would go like this: * The upload-pack-2 service sits on a port different from today's, waits for a ls-remote/fetch/clone client to connect to it, makes a default advertisement that only includes the refs that are usually wanted by clients with hints on what other refs the initial advertisement omitted, to let the client know that it is allowed to ask for them. * An updated client, if it sees that some refs are omitted from the initial advertisement *and* what the user told it to fetch or list may be one of the omitted ones (this is why the server gives hints in the previous step in the first step; when the server says it did not omit anything, or when it says it omitted only refs/pull/*, a client that wanted to fetch refs/heads/frotz will know the request will fail without continuing this step), then makes a "expand-refs" request to the server, asking for the refs it did not see and the server could supply. * When the server sees "expand-refs", it responds with additional advertisement. "expand-refs refs/pull/*" may result in listing of all refs in that hierarchy. "expand-refs refs/changes/1/1" would result in listing that single ref. "expand-refs no-such" may result in nothing, indicating an error. * After the (possible) expand-refs exchange, the client knows exactly the same and necessary information as the current protocol gives it in order to go to the common ancestor discovery step, and the protocol can continue the same way as the current protocol. Note that this cannot sit on the current port in general, as existing clients will not be able to tell some refs are not advertised, so unless you are hiding large and truly unused part of the refspace, interoperability with older clients will render the mechanism useless. You cannot use this to delay the refs/tags/ hierarchy with this mechanism and have older client come to the updated service that by default does not advertise tags, for example. The above is what I called the "delayed advertisement" in the discussion, which was brought up several months ago but nothing materialized as the result. People who are interested in pursuing this can volunteer and start discussing the design refinements now and submit implementation for reviews. But in the meantime, if there is a niche use case where a solution to only the second problem is sufficient (and Gerrit and GitHub pull requests could both be such use cases), the remainder of the series can help, without waiting the solution to solve "usually not wanted but may need to be learned" problem. That is the latter 4 patches (the very last one is a demonstration to illustrate why allowing a push to hidden ref hierarchy would not and should not work, and is not for application): parse_fetch_refspec(): clarify the codeflow a bit fetch: use struct ref to represent refs to be fetched upload-pack: optionally allow fetching from the tips of hidden refs fetch: fetch objects by their exact SHA-1 object names -- To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe git" in the body of a message to majord...@vger.kernel.org More majordomo info at http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html